Ash Wednesday is approaching. It is a day of unity for many Catholics as we proudly bear our smudged cross throughout the day. We fast, and we shift our mindset towards repentance as we make our specific and individual commitments for the next forty days. What will your Lent look like?
I want you to think about your Lent commitments in the backdrop of our Scripture for the day. Today’s Old Testament readings contrasts two kings (Jeroboam and Rehoboam) against one another and their predecessor (King Solomon). King Jeroboam offered the people of Israel a less stringent alternative to worshiping God, whereas King Rehoboam promised a stricter, harder hand in ruling. King Solomon is the balanced and wise one.
Are you approaching Lent as a Jeroboam, a Rehoboam, or a Solomon?
Lent is a time to reset ourselves, to pare away that which doesn’t matter, and to focus on the important. It is easy to go too far and set unrealistic expectations. Our commitments should draw us closer to our Lord, not lead us to disappointment and frustration, nor lead us into other sin.
This Lent I challenge you to be active in your repentance. Join me as I work to stop yelling and fighting, serve with love daily, and be kind to strangers. But whatever you decide, let's all challenge our self-control and invite God’s grace into our areas of struggle. I want to develop the habit of inviting Him into my little sufferings and welcome Him to pour out His Grace in abundance.
Let's all work to set some limits this Lent, but not just subtract from our lives. A balanced approach adds to our lives as well. Maybe we take that screen time we are giving up and spend each morning working through our Blessed is She Lent journal or reading the Bible or studying a life of a Saint. I'm praying for us as sisters to be active in our spiritual growth. Let God transform us one moment at a time.
Spend a few minutes in quiet now and ask for some insight as to the best, personal, spiritual equation for this Lent. What are you going to add? What are you going to subtract?
Dr. MaryRuth Hackett is Director of Operations for Blessed is She. She loves historical fiction, dark chocolate, watching her children play soccer, a good cup of coffee (decaf please) and the quiet of the early morning. She holds a PhD in Educational Psychology and has a passion for helping parents understand the way their children grow and develop. You can find out more about her here.